chicklit, contemporary, romance

Book Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

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Title: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Author: Penny Reid
Publisher: Caped Publishing
Length: 401 Pages, Kindle Ebook
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chicklit
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Blurb:
From the USA Today Bestselling author of ‘Truth or Beard’, this is a full-length, 110k word novel is the first book in the Knitting in the City series.

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Review:
This was another book I started pre-slump and just now finished. In my defense, I read maybe half of the first chapter pre-slump so I feel like I can safely say I read the majority of this in less than 12 hours. I’m not sure if it was a right book, at the right time kind of deal but I really enjoyed this book.

Janie is a hard-to-reach-emotionally woman and finds herself somehow supremely attracted to a maybe criminal. It was too hard to resist. Janie actually reminds me a lot of Lucy London from Imperfect Chemistry and I think that’s part of why I loved it so much. I like it when female characters are the ones who are emotionally distant because typically that’s a male troupe.

Quinn was an okay sexy, leading man. I did find his controlling, jealous ways a little off putting but it made sense sort of with Janie since she was kind of oblivious and needed to be taken care of a lot because of it. I wouldn’t put him at the top of a list of fictional males I want to marry but their romance was cute and sizzlely.

I liked the way the characters and their relationships were built as well. Each relationship unfolded bit by bit in a really interesting way. I appreciated that.

I probably won’t be reading any of the sequels in this “Knitting in the City” series but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first one. Considering this is a free Kindle book, I think I’m really happy with how much I enjoyed it versus the time invested. Which I can’t say has happened with a free Kindle book before.

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contemporary, romance

Book Review: Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson

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Title: Bella’s Christmas Bake Off
Author: Sue Watson
Publisher: Bookouture
Length: 316 Pages, Kindle Ebook
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 2.5

Blurb:
Two best friends. One big lie. The best bake off EVER.

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials.

But this year things are going to be different.

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever.

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off…

After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember…

Review:
I finished this novel a few days after Christmas just because Christmas was so busy and it was cute. Honestly, I can’t say much more about it than that. It was cute and Christmasy.

There were some glaring flaws for me. The first being how childish sound the main characters all sounded considering they were supposed to be around 38. I swore half the time they were 16 instead. I understand that maturity is different for everyone but this was rather annoying.

The plot was also kind of haphazard but cute. I like what Watson was trying to do even if execution wasn’t very good.

I do have to say that Watson did the character development and relationships between characters pretty well. The characters and their relationship to each other were complex and changed as the novel progressed.

Overall, I’d recommend it as a Christmas read if you can’t find much else. It read like a hallmark movie and that was A-Okay in my book.

new adult, romance

Book Review: Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

Small update about me: Thanks for all the well wishes! I’m feeling much better and to help make up for not posting anything this past week I’m publishing this today. The regular update schedule will be back next week. 😀

Title: Imperfect Chemistry
Author: Mary Frame
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Length: 198, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 4.5

Blurb:
Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

Review:
I LOVED this book. I heard of it because of Duchess at Duchess Reading and I’m so glad I read her review on it. It was such a light and easy read.

Lucy was such an interesting character. I loved how logical she was about falling in love. I also love how she made friends. She was super intriguing to read. My only qualm is that her character kind of changed toward the end and I think it may have been a bit too big of a leap.

Freya is an amazing side character along with the slew of friends she brings with her. Jensen was a mystery, which was both a good and bad thing. I think he went from mysterious to open book way too quickly.

As for a new adult novel, it didn’t get nearly as graphic as I was sort of expecting. It was refreshing since the romance seemed to be less about physical attraction and more about attraction to the other’s personality.

Fantasy, new adult

Book Review: The Source by J.D. Horn

Hey everyone! This post is officially post 100 on this blog. How awesome is that?? I can’t believe I’ve made 100 posts. This blog was started May 4th, 2015 and in only 4 and a half months I put out 100 posts. Onto the book review!

Title: The Source (Savannah Witching #2)
Author: J.D. Horn
Publisher: 47North
Length: 352, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

To see my review of The Line (Savannah Witching #1) click here.

Blurb:
Graceful trees and historic buildings fill Savannah, Georgia, but beneath the city’s Southern splendor, its supernatural roots run deep. The members of local witch families grace the society pages…when they’re not secretly protecting their magical work from dark forces.

Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South’s most powerful family of witches, but she’s struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.

But when Mercy’s long-presumed-dead mother suddenly returns, begging Mercy to keep her presence under wraps, the witch wonders how many secrets her family is hiding…and who she can really trust. And when the danger around her intensifies to deadly levels, Mercy knows she must discover the truth behind her family’s magic—before it destroys her.

Review:
Unfortunately, this novel suffered from sequel syndrome badly! It wasn’t nearly as interesting and well written as The Line. The characters were different than in the original and the plot seemed like a bit of a stretch.

Speaking of the characters, Mercy was SO annoying. I really enjoyed her character in the first book but in this sequel she was flaky at best and downright contradictory of herself in the worst moments. The side characters seemed to have changed personalities as well though not nearly as much as Mercy.

The plot wasn’t paced well. I felt like a lot of nothing happened for a big part of the book. I still enjoyed the majority of the book because Mercy was herself here and there and Mother Jilo was still hilarious. The ending was also well done but it definitely wasn’t as good as The Line and I almost feel like this series would have been better off if The Line was a stand alone.

Fantasy, new adult

Book Review: The Line by J.D. Horn

Title: The Line
Author: J.D. Horn
Publisher: 47North
Length: 298, Kindle Edition
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…
To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.
Despite being powerless herself, of course.
Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

Review:
I found this book on Kindle Unlimited. Actually the whole series is on there which is amazing since I happened to LOVE this book. It could be considered Young Adult but since the main character is 21 and a few of the themes seem a little too adult to be in YA I’m going to put it with NA.

Mercy is one interesting character. She’s loyal almost to a fault but also extremely curious. The book starts off with her giving a “Liar’s tour” and honestly I think it sets an amazing tone for the rest of the book.

I don’t want to get into any of the other characters for fear of spoiling anything, but I loved the way they were presented and the fact that we only had Mercy’s perspective on them. It means that the majority of the plot twists that happened I didn’t see coming at all which was extremely refreshing.

Going more into the plot twists, there are several and only one of them was semi predictable but by the time it happens you’re almost convinced it won’t happen because you thought it would be there sooner.

The only thing I could wish for from this book was more. I wanted more descriptions and explanations. I think certain parts could have been better explained. Basically I think 50 more pages would have been perfect to help flesh the plot, characters, and details out a little better.

dystopian, romance, young adult

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 401, Kindle edition
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistakes.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Review:
I did not love this book. I thought and hoped I would. The first 100 or so pages flew by but after that point it go so incredibly slow that I was legitimately falling asleep at some parts. The book could have been about 150 pages shorter and I would have liked it better. I felt like absolutely nothing happened for at least 150 pages. I understand the need of some of it but for the most part it was just plain boring.

I didn’t hate Lena. I think she was a little indecisive and a tad bit annoying but I enjoyed that she tried thinking for herself and not taking everything at face value. However, I do think that she fell a little flat as a character. I also HATED that she only changed because of a boy. Hana, her best friend for years, had no part in the change and she almost stopped being friends with Hana when Hana did try to change her. I just I hate when a guy is the only reason a girl develops. It’s just not right and it shows girls they should be dependent on boys and I’m not about that life.

Speaking of Lena’s best friend, Hana is the only character in the book I absolutely loved. She understands her limits, is an amazing friend, and is trying to fight the system but knows that she really can’t. I just really enjoy her all around.

Alex was kind of eh for me. His lines were cheesy, and he also fell flat for me. Considering he was the main reason for Lena’s change, I would have hoped he’d be a bit more 3 dimensional.

I might read the next book in the series if I find it really cheap on kindle or see it in the library but I have no desire to go out of my way to read what happens next even though it did leave off on a pretty solid cliffhanger. I think this is another dystopian book that kind of coasted on the dystopian craze that was going on when it was published.

new adult, romance

Book Review: Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Title: Stupid Girl
Author: Cindy Miles
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Length: 474, Kindle book
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Warning: Not for ye youngins under the ripe age of 18.
Trigger: Allusion to rape

Blurb:
Only fools fall in love…

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston University, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.

A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.

As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

Review:
This book had a lot of ups and downs for me. Some parts I absolutely loved. It was snappy and edgy. Other parts dragged and had me wondering when the book would end. Thankfully the ups were more frequent and longer lasting than the downs.

Olivia and Brax, though not entirely believable characters, were consistent in how they acted and really enjoyed that. I couldn’t see them as people in real life but you don’t always need that in a book. Their romance was cute and fiery and had me smiling and crying. Legitimate tears rolling down the face kind of crying (try explaining that to the person sitting next to me on the Metra). Miles is good at touching emotions in her writing.

I know I said the book had ups and downs, what I really means is that the book had a down spot right in the middle where everything was perfect for Olivia and Brax and I thought the author should just end the book there or get one with what might break them apart. I just think that the small period of perfection she wrote on and on about could have been a little shorter so the pacing of the book was better and I probably would have given this book 5 folded pages.

I also really loved the side characters. Each had their own personality (even if a few seemed to ride a stereotype a little too close for comfort) and I enjoyed that Miles put thought into the side characters.

I’m excited to read the sequel and hope it’s just as good or better than this one!

contemporary, romance, young adult

Book Review: Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London

Title: Aimee and the Heartthrob
Author: Ophelia London
Publisher: Macmillian
Length: 260, Kindle Book
Genre: Romance, contemporary, young adult
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…

Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister–and off-limits–but won’t even give him the time of day…

As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested.Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback.

But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…

Review:
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts I really enjoyed and other parts had me rolling my eyes and skimming the pages until it got good again.

I really enjoyed the first 100 pages or so. It was cute and I enjoyed how true to character Aimee stayed. Even around Miles she tried her hardest not to let her old feelings resurface instead of succumbing to them like what happens in similar books.

However, I think this book switched from young adult to new adult and back. Sometimes it felt like they were early 20 year olds and not 16-17. I didn’t enjoy that. There’s a line there that shouldn’t be crossed sometimes and the parts that felt new adult were a bit too sexual.

I do think the romance was super cute. It was just the kind of swoony and cheesiness that I want and expect in YA romance contemporary novels. Even if it sometimes felt a little too mature for the ages of the characters.

I’ll probably pick up the rest of the books in this series just because I’m curious to see what happens to the other band members.

Fantasy, historical fiction, romance

Series Review: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Title(s): A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Penguin books
Length: 592, 592, 576 all Kindle Edition
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical fiction
Rating: 5, 4.5, 4 folded pages respectively

Book 1 (A Discovery of Witches) Blurb:
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Review:
Originally I read books 1 and 2 of this about 4 or 5 years ago and I loved the first one but didn’t really like the second. In my defense I was still young, barely out of high school, and didn’t really like how sophisticated the novels felt. Now that probably what I love most about the series.

I absolutely loved marathoning this series. I was going to try and put space between each novel but after I reread the first one there was no way I was going to let myself hang on that cliff. Instead I read all three books in about a week which is no small feat let me assure you.

Deborah creates a very lively world with vampires, witches, and daemons and it’s entirely unique. I loved how she revealed the world to us through Diana who wasn’t really familiar with it even if she grew up in it.

The romance aspect of the book was a little eh if I’m to be honest. Matthew could be overbearing and over the top with cheesy things but for the most part I enjoyed it. And I definitely enjoyed watching them decide to be together. However, it was Diana and her character development that made me stay (along with the incredible world)

I definitely think the first book was the best of the three and the third book got really slow at some points. Still I loved the series and hope Deborah Harkness has something new in the works for us.

chicklit, contemporary, romance

Book Review: About that Fling by Tawna Fenske

Title: About that Fling
Author: Tawna Fenske
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Length: 321, Kindle book
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chicklit
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
As the top PR person for the Belmont Health System, bright, beautiful Jenna McArthur knows how to spin bad news and make it sound good. But when her adorable Aunt Gertie—a secret romance writer—urges Jenna to embrace her wild side, Jenna tumbles into bed with Adam Thomas, a guy she’s just met, for a fun and fantastic one-night stand. Too bad Adam is the one guy who’s totally off-limits. There aren’t enough clever words in the world to spin the story in a way that won’t wreck Jenna’s closest friendship or destroy her job.
With the irresistible Adam always around her at work, wearing an aura of temptation like a fabulous cologne, Jenna has to hold tight to her senses to avoid falling for him. Will he take her to the heights of pleasure again—or will their attraction destroy everything she’s worked for?

Review:
I got this book as an Amazon Kindle First and I really enjoyed it. I finished it in about 6 hours so it was an awesome light read while I was marathoning the All Souls trilogy.

My favorite thing about this book is that it was laugh out loud funny. My family kept giving me weird looks because I would just crack up and not be able to stop for a minute or so. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh like that. Fenske’s writing is quick and witty and I enjoyed that.

Not onto the not so good. I couldn’t stand Jenna’s inability to tell to the truth. There was absolutely no reason for her to lie so much. I suppose the whole she covers things up for a living could help but seriously there was no reason to lie that much.

The other thing is the very abrupt ending. I won’t give anything away but I just didn’t like how fast it all drew to a close. I think the pacing was off for it. There needed to be just a little more build to the climax and definitely a lot more resolution. The way it wrapped up left a sour taste in my mouth.

Aside from that I think it was a cute, fun read. The characters (even Jenna) felt very real. I always like when books have characters that I feel could be a person in real life. This is definitely far from what I usually read but I’ve been in a romance mood lately. I’m assuming you will see more of this kind of genre soon on my blog. Apologies in advance if you don’t enjoy these kinds of books!